13 Oct 2021, 09:55

Algeria court jails brother of deposed president Bouteflika

  DAR EL BEIDA, Algeria, Oct 13, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The powerful younger
brother of deposed late Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was sentenced
Tuesday to two years in prison for "obstructing the course of justice", the
official APS news agency reported.

  President Bouteflika was forced to resign in the face of mass protests
against his bid for a fifth term in office in 2019, and died in September
aged 84.

  His departure was followed by a string of prosecutions against senior
members of his inner circle, most prominently his brother Said who had been
seen as the real power behind the throne after the longtime ruler suffered a
stroke in 2013.

  The prosecution had called for seven years' jail for Said, who was charged
with other former officials for "abuse of office", "inciting the
falsification of official documents", "obstruction of justice" and "contempt
of court".

  The main accused at the trial in Dar El Beida, east of Algiers, was former
justice minister Tayeb Louh.

  He was handed six years in prison while tycoon Ali Haddad was sentenced to
two years, APS said. Both were close to the former president.

  Ex-inspector general of the ministry of justice Tayeb Belhachemi was also
sentenced to two years in prison.

  The court acquitted six other defendants.

  Said Bouteflika, 63, was arrested in May 2019 and sentenced to 15 years for
"plotting against the state and the army" during the final days of his
brother's rule.

  On January 2, he was acquitted of those charges by a military appeals
court, but was handed to a civil court to face trial on corruption charges.

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